Coronavirus in Michigan: Here’s where we stand today

A satellite image of Michigan (NASA)

New website helps Michigan residents receive their federal stimulus checks

DETROIT – Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan announced a new website to help Michigan residents receive their federal stimulus checks.

Designed in partnership with Detroit nonprofit Civilla, the 2020 Coronavirus Stimulus Payment website takes people through a step-by-step process to ensure they’ve provided the IRS with information necessary to receive the funds.

8 coronavirus (COVID-19) patients receiving care at TCF Center field hospital in Detroit

There are eight coronavirus (COVID-19) patients receiving care at the TCF Center in Detroit as of Tuesday, officials said.

The convention center turned field hospital is now being called the TCF Regional Care Center. It is designed to care for patients who are recovering from the virus so hospitals can help patients with greater needs.

The center will not have an intensive care unit or provide care to patients who need ventilation.

GM: First ventilators are ready for delivery

General Motors announced Tuesday that its first Ventec Life Systems V+Pro critical care ventilators are ready for delivery to the U.S. government’s Strategic National Stockpile

GM was awarded April 8 with a government contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to build 30,000 ventilators by August. The automaker is working with Ventec Life Systems, a partnership announced in March, to produce the machines at its plant in Kokomo, Indiana.

Lawyers offer free legal services to coronavirus frontline workers

The State Bar of Michigan (SBM) announced Tuesday a new initiative to provide free legal services to frontline workers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

SBM’s “A Lawyer Helps” program will assist medical workers and first responders to prepare legal documents such as wills, medical powers of attorney and financial powers of attorney. Frontline workers will get paired with an attorney using the program’s Frontline Responders Legal Helpline, officials said.

Tide Cleaners offer free laundry services to Detroit frontline workers

Tide Loads of Hope Powered by Tide Cleaners will provide free laundry services to frontline workers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Beginning Tuesday, medical personnel, police officers, firefighters and their immediate families can take their personal laundry to any Tide Cleaners location in the Detroit area to be washed for free.

Storefronts can wash items like jeans, shorts, t-shirts, socks and undergarments, officials said.

Eligible individuals must provide a valid form of identification or badge to receive the free services, officials said. A family member can bring the laundry on behalf of a frontline worker, but must provide a photo of the worker’s identification or badge.

Frontline workers in the Detroit area are encouraged to visit this website to learn more about services offered and to find a nearby Tide Cleaners location.

Here’s what happened Monday:

Liquor Control Commission to buy back liquor from bars, restaurants during COVID-19 outbreak

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an Executive Order on Monday that allows the Michigan Liquor Control Commission to buy back alcohol inventory from bars and restaurants.

The order aims to help businesses with on-premises liquor licenses that have been harmed by closures caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The Liquor Control Commission can use its revolving fund to buy booze remaining in inventory from bars and restaurants that purchased the spirits prior to March 16, 2020 for their full price.

Gov. Whitmer: Curve starting to flatten in parts of state

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer held a coronavirus media briefing on Monday, reporting that the state’s case trajectory may be starting to flatten.

Whitmer said the data shows that the state is starting to flatten the curve, specifically in southeast Michigan, but residents must continue to follow social distancing guidelines to prevent another rise because the slower growth is the result of residents following distancing measures.

Grocery union asks customers to take extra precautions

United Commercial Food Workers President Marc Perrone said 30 union members across the country have died from coronavirus (COVID-19) as of Monday.

Four of those workers were from Michigan Kroger stores.

READ: 4 employees at Metro Detroit Kroger stores die from COVID-19

Unemployment: Self-employed, 1099-contractors, gig workers can apply

Unemployment benefits are now open for self-employed, contractors and gig workers.

RELATED: State’s unemployment website crashes just as more became eligible

Michigan’s self-employed workers, gig workers, 1099-independent contractors and low-wage workers affected by COVID-19 can now apply for federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).

GFL to continue yard waste collection

Green For Life (GFL) Environmental waste services announced Monday it will pick up yard waste in Metro Detroit, days after saying the service would be suspended.

The suspension was supposed to begin Monday, but the company said it will be picking up the waste beginning Tuesday.

Extended stay-at-home order draws criticism, protest

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s extended stay-at-home order is generating negative feedback, including a protest planned for Wednesday.

“I just never in my life fathomed that I would live in a place where my government told me what I could and couldn’t buy at a store. It’s bizarre," said Matt Seely, of the Michigan Conservative Coalition.

The organization has planned a car rally in Lansing.

Gov. Whitmer extends expiration of driver’s licenses, state ID cards

Gov. Whitmer signed an Executive Order on Monday temporarily extending the expiration of valid driver’s licenses, state identification cards and commercial vehicle registrations that would have otherwise expired amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency declaration.

Death toll reaches 1,602

The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 25,635 as of Monday, including 1,602 deaths, state officials report.

That number is up from 24,638 confirmed cases and 1,487 deaths Sunday.

The official recovery rate is 433.

Detroit Pistons owner purchases 100,000 PPE masks for city

Pistons owner Tom Gores and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan announced that Gores purchased 100,000 PPE masks for deployment and use by the city of Detroit.

The surgical-grade masks will be provided to Detroit police officers, firefighters, bus drivers and other city workers serving the public in order to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Beaumont Health launches study on COVID-19 antibodies

Beaumont Health is launching a large new study to test for coronavirus (COVID-19) antibodies.

It will test the blood of employees, affiliates and some inpatients to try and determine who has been exposed to the virus and what that could mean going forward.

Explore Michigan virtually

How about some good news?

While you are social distancing, you can explore Michigan virtually.

The #VirtualPureMichigan campaign will include live cameras showing places such as Traverse City, Holland and Frankenmuth, as well as virtual tours of museums, and other related educational experiences.

How COVID-19 Spreads

Person-to-person spread

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Can someone spread the virus without being sick?

  • Spread is possible before people show symptoms. People who are not showing symptoms can still be carrying the virus and can still pass it on to other people.

Spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

How easily the virus spreads

How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (spread easily), like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained, spreading continually without stopping.

Prevention and Treatment

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

MORE: Beaumont Health launches coronavirus hotline for patients with symptoms

People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.

Question about coronavirus? Ask Dr. McGeorge here.

Read more about coronavirus here.